The Round-Up (03/02/23)

Welcome, February. Cheers for the awesome music this week. Our gratitude is as eternal as this godforsaken winter.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Rose Gray – Ecstasy

Listen closely, dear readers: if you’re at the club this weekend, and the beat drop doesn’t lead into ‘Ecstasy,’ you’re in the wrong club. I mean, the beat is immaculate, the synth drives the song so well I’d give it a 5-star rating on Uber, and the mixing results in the perfect fist pumping, jumping, bumping tune. And if you don’t agree? I guess I won’t be seeing you on the dance floor. [RG]

Also new this week…

Alex Lahey – Good Time
It’s always a good time with Alex Lahey. Brash and sardonic as ever, this next single released ahead of her third record is a ‘carpe diem’ sort of anthem, undeniably catchy and fun. And she’s right: I think we all could use a good time right about now. Let’s dance. [TF]

miu zyu – Dusty
A haunting song in the truest sense of the word. Slow, creeping guitars accompany lyrics about love, but also about dying and crying blood. This track walks the line between stereotypical internet creepiness and uniquely beautiful, and blends those moods in a way that feels totally fresh and interesting. [HP]

Rachel Chinouriri – Maybe I’m Lonely
What astounded me most about this track is Rachel’s control and use of her beautifully unique voice. It’s soft raspiness is drawn out by the higher-pitches she starts the tune with, so when her voice gets lower and stronger, you know she’s eyeing you to make sure you’re paying attention to her words. It’s got a killer build up ‘round the bridge, giving the song its second wind after you initially thought it was a slight little lullaby. Just some really smart craft all around here. [RG]

Whitney – For a While
Whitney have returned with their familiar folk sound to wonder what the future holds, but only briefly. Instead of worrying about the future we can never predict, they would rather celebrate the love that they’ve already felt. I think we can all learn from that sometimes. [HP]

Caroline Polachek – Blood and Butter
In the title track off her new EP, Caroline mixes techno, synth sounds with tambourine jangles, bongos and…bagpipes? Yes, you read that correctly, Caroline is breaking any and all boundaries with this song, both instrumentally and lyrically. With lines mentioning everything from holy water, ‘a navel ring inventing June,’ and the wonderful new word “Wikipediated,” you just have to hear it to believe it. [RG]

M(h)aol – Period Sex
All the best songs have titles that could get you banned on Instagram. At this point, M(h)aol could release a whole album of amp feedback and I’d love it. But instead, they’re making groundbreaking, feminist post-punk that exists to challenge the current scene. The music video is stunning, hitting you with the question “If this song makes you feel uncomfortable, you should ask yourself why.” [VG]

Niall Summerton – Wish You Could Speak
As a dog lover, I’ve often wondered how much of what I say to dogs they understand and I’m glad there is finally a song that asks that question too. More of the world’s most pressing philosophical questions should be tracked with excellent indie music. [HP]

The Tallest Man on Earth – Every Little Heart
Admittedly, as one of my favourite singer/songwriters, I loved this song before I even heard it. ‘Every Little Heart’ is a surprising listen for TTMOE, featuring more embellishments than normal, like an off-tempo snare drum shuffle. But all in all, he sounds more comfortable than ever. Intricately beautiful, and beautifully intricate. [TF]

Dolores Forever – When I Say So
Power pop punches are all over this song, from the muted yet catchy guitar riff right at the start to the chorus that brings in the whole band with immaculate energy. Yet another single for this up-and-coming act that makes waiting for whatever longer release they are working on that much more exciting. [HP]

swim school – delirious
One of my favourite mid-pandemic discoveries, swim school are back and noisier than ever. But don’t worry, they’re also just as catchy. This song’s got me raging ’round my living room as we speak. Just give us a full album already! [TF]

Contributor Key:
[TF] TJ Foster, [VG] Vicky Greer, [HP] Holden Predmore, [RG] Rory Graham

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